LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Mar 16, Thursday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Matt Skoczen
THEME: Add “OON” … each of today’s themed answers is a well-known phrase with the suffix “-OON” added:

17A. Parody involving molten rock? LAVA LAMPOON (from “lava lamp”)
28A. Wind god’s whaling weapon? AEOLIAN HARPOON (from “aeolian harp”)
48A. Blubbering Belgian? WAILING WALLOON (from “Wailing Wall”)
61A. Hollywood harlequin? FILM BUFFOON (from “film buff”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 26s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

7. Brief amt. of time NSEC
“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns”, and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

11. Karaoke need, briefly MIC
Microphone (mic)

In Japanese, “karate”, means “open hand”, and the related word “karaoke” means “open orchestra”.

17. Parody involving molten rock? LAVA LAMPOON (from “lava lamp”)
The lava lamp was invented in 1960 by a British man, Edward Craven-Walker. The “lava” is a mixture of wax and carbon tetrachloride, floating in a water/glycerol mix. The wax reduces in density as it picks up heat from the incandescent bulb in the lamp’s base. The wax rises, cools, and then sinks to the bottom of the liquid only to be heated again.

20. APA member?: Abbr. ASSN
American Psychiatric Association (APA)

21. Med. test EKG
An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

22. Eight-time co-star of Joan Crawford GABLE
The actress that Clark Gable made the most films with was Joan Crawford. The eight Gable/Crawford movies are:

– “Dance, Fools, Dance” (1931)
– “Laughing Sinners” (1931)
– “Possessed” (1931)
– “Dancing Lady” (1933)
– “Chained” (1934)
– “Forsaking All Others” (1934)
– “Love on the Run” (1936)
– “Strange Cargo” (1940)

28. Wind god’s whaling weapon? AEOLIAN HARPOON (from “aeolian harp”)
Aeolus was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology, and he gave his name to the adjective “aeolian” (also “aeolic, eolic”) meaning “windblown”, something produced or carried by the wind. For example, an aeolian harp is a fascinating instrument; a box with a sounding board and strings that is “played” by the wind as it blows.

35. Arctic flier SKUA
Skuas are a group of about seven species of seabird. Some of these species are known as jaegers in the Americas. The skua takes its name from the island of Skúvoy in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. The name “jaeger” comes from the German word for “hunter”.

37. Honor earned by 27 Super Bowl QBs MVP
Two players have won three Super Bowl MVP awards: Joe Montana and Tom Brady.

41. Scoreboard fig. PTS
Points (pts.)

42. Director Preminger OTTO
Otto Preminger was noted for his films that pushed the envelope in terms of subject matter, at least in the fifties and sixties. Great examples would be 1955’s “The Man with the Golden Arm” that dealt with drug addiction, 1959’s “Anatomy of a Murder” that dealt with rape, and 1962’s “Advise and Consent” that dealt with homosexuality. If you’ve seen these films, you’ll have noticed that the references are somewhat indirect and disguised, in order to get past the censors.

44. It borders It. AUS
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

46. Sparkling wit ESPRIT
Our word “esprit”, meaning “liveliness of mind”, comes to us from Latin via French. The Latin “spiritus” means “spirit.

48. Blubbering Belgian? WAILING WALLOON (from “Wailing Wall”)
The Walloons are an ethnic group living in Belgium, mainly in the region known as Wallonia. The Walloons are French-speaking today, although there is also a related Walloon language.

51. 8th-century Japanese capital NARA
The Japanese city of Nara, located not far from Kyoto, was the nation’s capital from 710 to 784 CE.

55. June portrayer in “Henry & June” UMA
The 1990 movie “Henry & June” is loosely adapted from the book of the same name by Anaïs Nin. The book is based on diaries written by Nin telling of her part in a love triangle with American author Henry Miller and his wife June. June Miller was played by Uma Thurman in the movie.

60. First name in shipping ARI
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

61. Hollywood harlequin? FILM BUFFOON (from “film buff”)
A “buff” or a “nut” is one who is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a subject. For example, one might be a movie buff, or perhaps a baseball nut.

65. Java JOE
It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

Back in 1850, the name “java” was given to a type of coffee grown on the island of Java, and the usage of the term spread from there.

66. Eclectic quarterly digest UTNE
The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984, with “Utne” being the family name of the couple that started the publication. The magazine uses the slogan “Cure Ignorance”.

68. Animal in some fables ASS
In Aesop’s fable “The Old Lion”, an old lion lay dying in the mouth of a cave, when the animals he had hunted drew around him. A boar, bull and ass attacked the lion, as they felt free from danger. The moral illustrated by the fable is that it is cowardly to attack the defenseless, even though they may be the enemy.

69. He says to Cordelia, “Thy truth, then, be thy dower” LEAR
“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the storyline. The three are, in order of age:

– Goneril
– Regan
– Cordelia

70. Cerebral __ CORTEX
The outermost layer of an organ is known as the cortex. The cortical layer that is most familiar to the man on the street (like me!) is that of the brain, i.e. the cerebral cortex.

Down
1. __ breve ALLA
The musical term “alla breve”, meaning “at the breve (i.e. the note)”, denotes a meter equivalent to 2/2. This implies quite a fast tempo, one often found in military marches.

3. Home team at Cleveland’s “The Q” CAVS
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970. The team plays at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland, a facility that the locals refer to as “the Q”.

5. Mph VEL
Velocity (vel.)

6. Former PBS host LeShan EDA
Eda LeShan wrote “When Your Child Drives You Crazy”, and was host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

9. 1940s stage for Ike ETO
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

10. __ eel CONGER
Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

11. Apple with a Force Touch trackpad MACBOOK PRO
The MacBook Pro is the high-end model in Apple’s MacBook family of portable computers.

18. Physical leader? META-
The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek “meta” (beyond) and “physika” (physical), and is a branch of philosophy that investigates reality beyond the principles of science. Not something I would understand …

23. Gear on stage AMPS
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

25. Kind of tchr. ELEM
A teacher (tchr.) might work in an elementary (elem.) school.

26. Buddhist state NIRVANA
Nirvana is a philosophical concept in some Indian-based religions. In the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is the state of being free from suffering i.e. not experiencing craving, anger or other afflicting states.

27. Klinger’s first name on “M*A*S*H” MAXWELL
Actor Jamie Farr is best known for playing the cross-dressing Max Klinger in the sitcom ”M*A*S*H”. Although Farr landed a role in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”, his career didn’t really take off until he started appearing regularly on “The Red Skelton Show”. Years later he managed to get a one-episode appearance in ”M*A*S*H”, and his character and performance were received so well that he became a regular on the show. Farr actually did serve in the US Army in Korea, although it was after hostilities had ended. The dog tags that Farr wore when filming ”M*A*S*H” were the one’s he actually wore while serving in the military.

28. Vital supply line AORTA
The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

29. Where to find Java EAST INDIES
The exact definition of “East Indies” can vary. In its most general sense the term can describe all the lands of South and Southeast Asia. More specifically, the East Indies can refer to just the islands of Southeast Asia. The colonial influence in the area is reflected in the names of the regions within the East Indies, e.g. the British East Indies (Malaysia), the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and Spanish East Indies (the Philippines). The use of the word “Indies” is a reference to the Indus River.

32. Democratic donkey drawer NAST
Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today. Thomas Nast drew some famous cartoons in which he depicted the Tammany Society as a vicious tiger that was killing democracy. Nast’s use of the tiger symbology caught on and was used by other cartoonists to harp at the society.

38. Wrinkly little dog PUG
The pug is a breed of dog of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, a good-looking mutt!

40. __ Royale, Michigan ISLE
Isle Royale in Michigan is the largest island in Lake Superior. The main island, along with over 400 smaller surrounding islands, is now part of Isle Royale National Park.

43. Skin care brand OLAY
Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

53. Indian noble RAJA
“Raja” (also “rajah”) is word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

54. Love deity EROS
Eros, the Greek god of love, was also known as Amor.

55. Forearm bone ULNA
The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

57. Egyptian Christian COPT
The Copts make up the largest minority religious group in Egypt. Copts are Christians, with most adhered to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and others practicing Coptic Catholicism or Coptic Protestantism. The term “Copt” ultimately derives from a Greek word for Egyptian.

58. “The thing with feathers / That perches in the soul”: Dickinson HOPE
Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1800 poems in her lifetime, with less than a dozen published before she died in 1886. Emily’s younger sister discovered the enormous collection, and it was published in batches over the coming decades. Here is the first verse of one of her poems:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

59. Cameo stone ONYX
Onyx is a form of banded quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

“Cameo” is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term cameo is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

63. The Trojans of the Pac-12 USC
The athletic teams of the University of Southern California are called the USC Trojans. The women’s teams are also called the Trojans, but are sometimes referred to as Women of Troy.

64. “Alice” spinoff FLO
Florence Jean “Flo” Castleberry is a waitress in the sitcom “Alice” that originally aired on CBS in the 70s and 80s. Flo got her own sitcom (called “Flo”) which had a brief run in the early 80s. I saw a few episodes of “Alice”, but that’s about it. Oh, and Flo was played by Polly Holliday.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Library recess ALCOVE
7. Brief amt. of time NSEC
11. Karaoke need, briefly MIC
14. Slanted LEANED
15. With 34-Across, concert band instrument ALTO …
16. Big fuss ADO
17. Parody involving molten rock? LAVA LAMPOON (from “lava lamp”)
19. Sneaky job CON
20. APA member?: Abbr. ASSN
21. Med. test EKG
22. Eight-time co-star of Joan Crawford GABLE
24. Teeth: Pref. DENTI-
27. Note MEMO
28. Wind god’s whaling weapon? AEOLIAN HARPOON (from “aeolian harp”)
33. Crybaby MOANER
34. See 15-Across … SAX
35. Arctic flier SKUA
36. Stalling-for-time syllables ERS
37. Honor earned by 27 Super Bowl QBs MVP
39. Light lead-in TWI-
41. Scoreboard fig. PTS
42. Director Preminger OTTO
44. It borders It. AUS
46. Sparkling wit ESPRIT
48. Blubbering Belgian? WAILING WALLOON (from “Wailing Wall”)
51. 8th-century Japanese capital NARA
52. Runs while standing IDLES
53. Try a new color on REDYE
55. June portrayer in “Henry & June” UMA
56. Repeat, but more softly each time ECHO
60. First name in shipping ARI
61. Hollywood harlequin? FILM BUFFOON (from “film buff”)
65. Java JOE
66. Eclectic quarterly digest UTNE
67. Hard to read, maybe SLOPPY
68. Animal in some fables ASS
69. He says to Cordelia, “Thy truth, then, be thy dower” LEAR
70. Cerebral __ CORTEX

Down
1. __ breve ALLA
2. Pastures LEAS
3. Home team at Cleveland’s “The Q” CAVS
4. Uninterrupted ON AND ON
5. Mph VEL
6. Former PBS host LeShan EDA
7. Place setting items NAPKINS
8. Tough march SLOG
9. 1940s stage for Ike ETO
10. __ eel CONGER
11. Apple with a Force Touch trackpad MACBOOK PRO
12. Fan club focus IDOL
13. Lane-closing sight CONE
18. Physical leader? META-
23. Gear on stage AMPS
25. Kind of tchr. ELEM
26. Buddhist state NIRVANA
27. Klinger’s first name on “M*A*S*H” MAXWELL
28. Vital supply line AORTA
29. Where to find Java EAST INDIES
30. Magic show prop HAT
31. __ the cold OUT IN
32. Democratic donkey drawer NAST
33. Litter cry MEOW!
38. Wrinkly little dog PUG
40. __ Royale, Michigan ISLE
43. Skin care brand OLAY
45. Pool party? SWIMMER
47. Be the subject of, as a painting POSE FOR
49. Furious IREFUL
50. Not much at all A DAB
53. Indian noble RAJA
54. Love deity EROS
55. Forearm bone ULNA
57. Egyptian Christian COPT
58. “The thing with feathers / That perches in the soul”: Dickinson HOPE
59. Cameo stone ONYX
62. Suburban trailer? -ITE
63. The Trojans of the Pac-12 USC
64. “Alice” spinoff FLO

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Mar 16, Wednesday

Quicklink
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Yes, yes, yes, yes! … each of today’s themed answer is a wordy way to say “yes”, and is clued appropriately for those words:

17A. Yes, to a cowboy? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS
27A. Yes, to an architect? SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN
43A. Yes, to a traffic court judge? SUITS ME JUST FINE
54A. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball IT IS DECIDEDLY SO

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 7m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Vanna’s cohort PAT
Pat Sajak took over the hosting of “Wheel of Fortune” from Chuck Woolery back in 1983 and has been doing the job ever since. Sajak had a short run as a talk show host in 1989/1990 and used to sub quite often for Larry King and Regis Philbin.

Vanna White is the lady who turns the letters on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. White is big into knitting and crochet, and has her own line of yarns called “Vanna’s Choice”.

“Cohort” can be used as a collective noun, meaning a group or company. The term can also apply to a company or associate. The term comes from the Latin “cohors”, which was an infantry company in the Roman army, one tenth of a legion.

4. Smidgens IOTAS
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

9. Thicket COPSE
A copse is a small stand of trees. The term “copse” originally applied to a small thicket that was specifically grown for cutting.

14. Boston Marathon mo. APR
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, outside of the Olympic event. The first Boston Marathon was held way back in 1897 to celebrate Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the start of the American Revolution.

15. Meat and greet patio party? BAR-B-Q
It is believed that our word “barbecue” comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”. The word is sometimes abbreviated to “BBQ” or “Bar-B-Q”.

16. Skylit courtyards ATRIA
In modern architecture an atrium (plural “atria” or “atriums”) is a large open space usually in the center of a building and extending upwards to the roof. The original atrium was an open court in the center of an Ancient Roman house. One could access most of the enclosed rooms of the house from the atrium.

21. Switz. neighbor AUS
The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

23. “M*A*S*H” Emmy winner for acting, writing and directing ALDA
Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course on “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He won his most recent Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

24. German autos BMWS
The abbreviation BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

26. Women’s undergarment, briefly CAMI
A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English, which ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

32. Cracker with a scalloped edge RITZ
I’ve always liked Ritz crackers. They’ve been around since 1934 when they were introduced by Nabisco. The name Ritz was chosen because the marketing folks felt that the association with Ritz-Carlton would evoke images of wealth and the highlife.

34. Provides with a soundtrack DUBS
If voices needed to be altered on the soundtrack of a film, that means double the work as there needs to be a re-recording. “Dub” is short for “double”, and is a term we’ve been using since the late 1920s. The term has been extended to describe the adding of sound to an otherwise silent film or tape.

39. Shakespeare’s river AVON
There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but “Shakespeare’s Avon” lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name “Avon” comes from the Old English word for a river, “abona”. Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

40. Stockholm carrier SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

47. Author Rice ANNE
Anne Rice is an American author of erotic and Gothic novels. Rice was born Howard Allen O’Brien (no wonder she changed her name!). Her famous series of novels “The Vampire Chronicles” centers on her character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. One of the stories, “Interview with the Vampire”, was adapted for the big screen in 1994 and features Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and others in a star-studded cast. Not my kind of movie though, as I don’t do vampires …

49. Medicine Hat’s prov. ALTA
Alberta (Alta.) is a big province, about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

Medicine Hat is a city in Alberta. Canada. Medicine Hat is known for its extensive natural gas fields. In fact, English writer Rudyard Kipling described the city as having “all hell for a basement”.

51. Org. for docs AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)

52. Exited quickly, in slang BAILED
The phrase “to bail out” (sometimes just “to bail”) means to leave suddenly. We’ve been using the term since the early thirties, originating with airline pilots. To bail out is to make a parachute jump.

54. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball IT IS DECIDEDLY SO
The Magic 8-Ball is a toy, supposedly a fortune-telling device, introduced by Mattel in 1946. There are 20 answers that the Magic 8-Ball can provide, including:

– Without a doubt
– Ask again later
– My sources say no
– Outlook not so good
– Signs point to yes
– It is decidedly so

58. “Divine Comedy” poet DANTE
Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

59. “Fun, Fun, Fun” car in 1960s hit T-BIRD
Ford manufactured the Thunderbird (T-Bird) from 1955 to 2005, originally as a two-seater sporty convertible. The T-Bird was introduced as a competitor to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette.

“Fun, Fun, Fun” is a 1964 song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the Beach Boys. The English rock band Status Quo released a great cover version of “Fun, Fun, Fun” in 1996, which featured the Beach Boys on backup vocals.

60. Make faces for the camera MUG
The verb “to mug” means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are the made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

61. Labor day doc OB/GYN
Obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)

62. Church chorus AMENS
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

63. Mini-albums, briefly EPS
An extended play record (EP) contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

Down
2. Ill-fated 1967 moon mission APOLLO I
Apollo 1 was planned to be the first manned mission in NASA’s lunar landing program. Sadly, the three crew members perished in a tragic cabin fire that took place in a launch pad test. The astronauts who died were Gus Grissom (the second American to fly in space), Edward White (the first American to walk in space) and Roger Chaffee (the pilot for the planned Apollo 1 mission).

3. Made even, to a carpenter TRUED UP
A carpenter is a woodworker. “Carpenter” came into English via French from the Latin “carpentarius” meaning “wagon maker”. The earlier “carpentum” is Latin for “wagon”.

5. Cheerios descriptor OATY
Cheerios breakfast cereal has the distinction of being the first oat-based cereal introduced into the market, hitting the grocery store shelves in 1941. Back then, “Cheerios” were known as CheeriOats.

7. Blood-typing letters ABO
The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a “universal donor”.

9. Uber competitors CABS
Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Personally, I love the service and only have had good experiences …

10. Platte River tribe OTO
The Otoe (also Oto) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestwards ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

The Platte River used to be called the Nebrakier, which is an Oto word meaning “flat river”. Indeed, the state of Nebraska takes its name from “Nebrakier”. For a while it was also called the River Plate as “plate” is the French word “flat”. Later this became “Platte”, the phonetic spelling of the French “plate”.

24. Orders with mayo BLTS
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

25. “Les __”: musical nickname MIZ
The 1980 musical “Les Misérables” is an adaptation of the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show opened in London in 1985, and is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End. My wife and I saw “Les Miz” in the Queen’s Theatre in London quite a few years ago, but were only able to get tickets in the very back row. The old theater’s seating is very steep, so the back row of the balcony is extremely high over the stage. One of the big events in the storyline is the building of a street barricade over which the rebels fight. At the height we were seated we could see the stagehands behind the barricade, sitting drinking Coke, even smoking cigarettes. On cue, the stagehands would get up and catch a dropped rifle, or an actor that had been shot. It was pretty comical. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much, to be honest. Some great songs, but the musical version of the storyline just didn’t seem to hang together for me.

26. PCs’ “brains” CPUS
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the main component on the “motherboard” of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

28. Karen Carpenter’s instrument DRUMS
Karen Carpenter was an accomplished drummer, although she only started playing drums in high school, as a member of the school band. After she graduated she started playing jazz with her brother, Richard, and a college friend. Later, she and Richard played with a group called Spectrum, and submitted many demo tapes to recording companies, but all were unsuccessful. Finally, Karen and Richard got a recording contract with A&M Records, and when they had Karen take the lead on their songs, they hit the big time and toured as the Carpenters. Sadly, Karen passed away at only 32-years-old, dying from heart failure brought on by anorexia.

34. Prom partner DATE
A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

35. Fallopian tube traveler OVUM
The Fallopian tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals in the uterus. The tubes are named for the 16th-century Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio, who was the first to describe them.

37. Drink on credit RUN A TAB
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

39. Multi-platinum Steely Dan album AJA
Steely Dan’s heyday was in the seventies when they toured for a couple of years, although the group mainly focused on studio work. The band was formed in 1972 and broke up in 1981. The core of the band reunited in 1993 and they are still going strong today. Steely Dan’s best-selling album is “Aja”, released in 1977.

44. Viral Internet phenomenon MEME
A “meme” (short for “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

45. Two-horse wager EXACTA
To win a bet called an exacta (also called a “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second, and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

51. Yemeni port ADEN
Aden is a seaport in Yemen, located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

52. Capital near Zurich BERN
Bern (also “Berne”) is the capital of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

56. Tech giant IBM
IBM was founded as the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. The company changed its name to the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) in 1911 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916. The name of International Business Machines (IBM) was given first to the company’s Canadian subsidiary, and then its South American subsidiary. In 1924, it was decided to adopt the International Business Machines name for the whole company. Good choice …

57. Cube that rolls DIE
The numbers on dice are arranged so that the opposite faces add up to seven. Given this arrangement, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 all meet at a common vertex. There are two ways of arranging the 1, 2 and 3 around the common vertex, a so called right-handed die (clockwise 1-2-3) or a left-handed die (counterclockwise 1-2-3). Traditionally, dice used in Western cultures are right-handed, whereas Chinese dice are left-handed. Quite interesting …

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Vanna’s cohort PAT
4. Smidgens IOTAS
9. Thicket COPSE
14. Boston Marathon mo. APR
15. Meat and greet patio party? BAR-B-Q
16. Skylit courtyards ATRIA
17. Yes, to a cowboy? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS
20. Sunday service providers CLERGY
21. Switz. neighbor AUS
22. Pollen carrier BEE
23. “M*A*S*H” Emmy winner for acting, writing and directing ALDA
24. German autos BMWS
26. Women’s undergarment, briefly CAMI
27. Yes, to an architect? SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN
31. __ joint HIP
32. Cracker with a scalloped edge RITZ
33. [uh-oh] GULP
34. Provides with a soundtrack DUBS
35. Components of many tips ONES
37. Give in to wanderlust ROAM
39. Shakespeare’s river AVON
40. Stockholm carrier SAS
43. Yes, to a traffic court judge? SUITS ME JUST FINE
47. Author Rice ANNE
48. Final, e.g. EXAM
49. Medicine Hat’s prov. ALTA
50. Shoot the breeze YAK
51. Org. for docs AMA
52. Exited quickly, in slang BAILED
54. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball IT IS DECIDEDLY SO
58. “Divine Comedy” poet DANTE
59. “Fun, Fun, Fun” car in 1960s hit T-BIRD
60. Make faces for the camera MUG
61. Labor day doc OB/GYN
62. Church chorus AMENS
63. Mini-albums, briefly EPS

Down
1. Choose paper over plastic? PAY CASH
2. Ill-fated 1967 moon mission APOLLO I
3. Made even, to a carpenter TRUED UP
4. “__ your pardon” I BEG
5. Cheerios descriptor OATY
6. “Give it a go” TRY
7. Blood-typing letters ABO
8. Kick up a fuss SQUAWK
9. Uber competitors CABS
10. Platte River tribe OTO
11. The majors PRO BALL
12. Online guide SITE MAP
13. Enter gradually EASE IN
18. Muffin mix additive BRAN
19. Con job RUSE
24. Orders with mayo BLTS
25. “Les __”: musical nickname MIZ
26. PCs’ “brains” CPUS
28. Karen Carpenter’s instrument DRUMS
29. Member of the fam SIB
30. One who helps you find a part? AGENT
34. Prom partner DATE
35. Fallopian tube traveler OVUM
36. Rejections NOS
37. Drink on credit RUN A TAB
38. Noise from a 55-Down OINKING
39. Multi-platinum Steely Dan album AJA
40. “I was so foolish!” SILLY ME!
41. Pays for cards ANTES UP
42. Old salts SEA DOGS
43. Get hitched SAY “I DO”
44. Viral Internet phenomenon MEME
45. Two-horse wager EXACTA
46. Go up in smoke FAIL
51. Yemeni port ADEN
52. Capital near Zurich BERN
53. Supplements, with “to” ADDS
55. Type of pen STY
56. Tech giant IBM
57. Cube that rolls DIE

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